Interview with Nepali-Indian actress Geetanjali Thapa, 25, after she won India’s National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the 2014 film Liar’s Dice.
Nepal: What led you to acting?
Geetanjali Thapa: I used to act in school plays, but I never wanted to become a professional actor. When I was studying in Kolkata, some friends suggested that I start modelling. One thing led to another and I was cast in Prashant Rasaily’s film Myth. After that acting just kind of took off.
How did you land the role in Liar’s Dice?
I was in a film called ID . Rajeev Ravi, the cinematographer of the film, recommended my name to his wife Githu Mohandas, who is the director of Liar’s Dice. She then cast me in the film.
What are your plans now?
I am excited about receiving the award from the President of India. From now on, it’s going to be a bigger challenge as more people have come to know of my work. Offers have also come pouring in but I am being selective with my scripts.
What kind of scripts attract you?
I prefer to act in films that raise socio-economic issues rather than in musicals. If song-and-dance films are done in a new way, I wouldn’t mind heading to Bollywood right away. But for me, a good script is the most important thing.
What projects are you currently involved in?
I have been cast in a film by Oscar winning Serbian filmmaker Danis Tanovich called White Lies, alongside Emran Hashmi. The funny thing is I went for the audition just hoping to meet the director, didn’t really think I would get selected.
Have you faced any trouble in the industry because of your Nepali roots?
There have been times when I have been rejected because of my non-typical Indian looks. But this is to be expected because filmmakers are under a lot of pressure to cast Indian faces. Still, I am happy with the number of films I get.
Are you familiar with Nepali films and filmmakers?
I watched Darpan Chhaya when I was very small. The recent movies I’ve seen are Acharya, Katha, and Sungava. Among the directors I only know Prashant Rasaily and Subarna Thapa, whom I met at a film festival.
Do you have any plans to work or stay in Nepal?
I’d like to work in Nepali films as long as the filmmakers like my work and I like their scripts. I’ve never been there, and my friends in Kathmandu always ask me to visit, so maybe I will go once the shooting for White Lies ends.